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Tuesday, May 30 • 5:00pm - 5:30pm
(Book & Paper) Line up, Back to Back: Restoration of Korean Buddhist Sutra in accordion book format

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East Asian Buddhist Sutras are sometimes mounted in accordion book format and are commonly seen in China, Japan and Korea. Sutra text is written mostly in gold or silver on indigo dyed paper. The indigo papers were either brush or vat dyed, lined with layers of paper, and then joined together as needed. A long, horizontal section of indigo paper was folded into narrow pages, and wooden or paper covers were attached to the ends. A Korean Buddhist sutra, Dirghagama Sutra, in ten-leaf accordion book format with both top and bottom paper covers was brought in for treatment to the Asian Conservation lab at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Many of the condition problems of this sutra were likely linked to the its function as a personal religious item. For example, damage and losses due to excessive handling, an embossed circular impression likely from a vessel of some sort, substantial dirt and soiling, unknown attachments, crude repairs (tape)…etc. Major treatment involving the dissembly and re-mounting of the sutra had to be considered in order to stabilize the sutra and permit its safe display. This paper presents the examination, documentation and treatment of a Korean Buddhist Sutra. Treatment included surface cleaning, structural stabilization, disassembling, tape removal, infilling, lining and mounting. Conservators overcame several challenges such as: unifying the size of pages, infilling the missing section of the folding areas, combining the front and back with folding lines aligned. During the course of treatment, several interesting discoveries were made involving the interior structure of the sutra, as well as the materials used to create the object. It is hoped this case will be useful for the future conservation of other similar sutras mounted in accordion book format.

Speaker(s)
avatar for Hsin-Chen Tsai

Hsin-Chen Tsai

Associate Conservator, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Hsin-Chen Tsai is currently an Associate Conservator in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston's Asian Conservation Studio. In 2008, she received an M.A. in Conservation from Tainan National University of Arts (TNNUA) in Taiwan, where she specialized in Asian paintings. Her previous exp... Read More →

Co-Author(s)
avatar for Tanya Uyeda

Tanya Uyeda

Associate Conservator, Japanese Paintings, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Tanya Uyeda is the Associate Conservator for Japanese Paintings in the Asian Conservation Studio where for the past 16 years she has been responsible for the care of paintings in a myriad of formats including hanging scrolls, handscrolls, screens, panels, and albums. Tanya receiv... Read More →

Tuesday May 30, 2017 5:00pm - 5:30pm
Regency A-B Ballroom Level, West Tower

Attendees (152)